By: Dawn Blankinship
Summer allergies could be to blame for your child’s coughing, sniffing and itchy throat and eyes. Allergies can cause inflamation and fluid accumulation in the ear leading to ear infections. Here are your parenting tips to protect your child’s health. Plan to reduce your child’s symptoms and suffering by avoiding the sources of the problem.
Parenting Tips for Child Allergies
Here are a few parenting tips to limit your child’s exposure to dust, pollens, pet dander and mold spores,
✓ Trees, grass, and other plants produce allergy causing pollen. Avoid playing outdoors in windy or dusty conditions. Pick days after a rain for outdoor activities.
✓ Close windows and doors indoors and in the car while driving, especially when pollen counts in your area are at medium or high pollen levels.
✓ Use the air conditioner to aid in cleaning the air. Turn off fans.
✓ Change your child’s clothing when coming indoors.
✓ Avoid exposure to mold spores. Clean moldy walls, floors and other surfaces. Mold loves damp places. Reduce damp areas in the bathroom, kitchen and wash room and basement. Fix all leaks and other sources of damp spots. Dehumidifiers help avoid both mold and dust mites. Limit yourself to a few house plants. Outdoors, remove piles of leaves, weeds and moldy firewood.
✓ Don’t smoke or let others smoke around your child.
✓ If pets must be indoors, keep them out of the bedrooms and off furniture your child may use. Animal dander is clingy, put your pet’s favorite furniture outdoors or away from bedrooms and play areas. Low pile carpet or better, wood or tile floors are easier to keep clean of pet allergens. If possible, choose a pet without fur or feathers. Several breeds of dogs have low allergen hair instead of fur.
✓ Clean your child’s pillows and bedding often.
✓ Bathe children at bedtime to remove allergens, dust, pollen and pet dander from skin and hair.
Child Allergy Facts
An estimated 40-45 million Americans have some type of allergy and, most of these allergies first appear during infancy or childhood. Allergen immunotherapy( Allergy Shots) has been shown to be especially helpful in the treatment of allergies and asthma in children. Allergy shots against current allergens can reduce the chance that your child will develop new allergies in the future.
Although some child allergies are only seasonal, for example, having allergy symptoms when grass, pollen, or mold counts are high, many children have year round allergies. Allergies are more common in boys than girls and are more likely to develop in the oldest child in the family. By adulthood, however the number of men and women who have allergies is about the same. The tendency to develop allergies are inherited from parents. When one or both parents have allergies, there is a greater likelihood that their children will too.
As doctors learn more about allergies and asthma, they are beginning to understand there is a connection and that they have a lot in common. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma are both known as allergic conditions, both can be triggered by many of the same allergens. Many people with asthma also have indoor and outdoor allergies. Although having allergies does not necessarily mean that you have or will get asthma.
For medical help for your child see an allergy specialist or your pediatrician.
For more information go to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America or Keep Kids Healthy
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